Archive for the ‘Health & wellness’ Category

Former Daily Show correspondent and now Last Week Tonight host John Oliver on Dr. Oz’s admission that his promotion of weight loss supplements is lacking in the facts department [4:30]:

But that’s the whole point! You’re presenting it as a doctor. If you want to keep spouting this bullshit that’s fine. But don’t call your show Dr. Oz, call it Check This Shit Out with Some Guy Named Mehmet.

Watch the whole segment below. Oliver transitions from Dr. Oz into the general problems with the supplement industry. Don’t miss Oliver’s suggestions at the end for how Dr. Oz could “fill a show with shameless pandering, without dangerously misleading medical information” [13:30]. My fave is Steve Buscemi tap dancing … because who wouldn’t want to watch that ;).

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Dr. Walter Willett, nutrition chair at Harvard (among other things), has a new book — Thinfluence — coming out next month. In a promotional interview with The Atlantic, he talks about the “powerful and surprising effect” the environment and our social networks play (emphasis mine):

If you look around the world at wealthy countries like the United States, you see very different rates of obesity. In Japanese women, prevalence of obesity is under 5 percent; in Swedish women it’s about 6 or 7 percent. In the U.S., it’s between 35 and 40 percent—and we know that when people come from these countries to live in the United States, they fatten up. That’s a clue that there is something pretty important going on that’s related to where we live, and that there are very important factors operating [outside of us as individuals].

We’ve started to understand some of these; they’re often complex but it’s a clue that Americans aren’t simply completely irresponsible people. And looking at kids, too, their obesity rates have about tripled over the last four years, or quadrupled among some groups. It’s not that kids have become massively irresponsible in such a short time, but that there are obviously factors outside the kids’ inner-selves that are operating here.

So much of what people have been told is that weight is just about individual change. We’re not saying that there is no such thing as individual responsibility, but sometimes even very responsible people can have a hard time making the choice that’s in their best interest if there are a lot of barriers in their daily life and environment.

I might quibble with characterizing this as “surprising” … but I suppose it’s helpful when someone like Willett proclaims it so.

In the book, Willett talks about a very interesting program in Kentucky that leverages “contagious health” as a wellness tactic. The idea behind this program (see “microclinics“) is very, very compelling IMO!

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Go Kaleo’s Amber Rogers on her Facebook page:

I have a pretty remarkable transformation story and pictures. I could make a shit ton of money by joining an MLM scheme and using that story and pics to sell you guys supplements and shakes.

I don’t though, because I bought into a lot of that kind of stuff for YEARS and know what a crock it all is. Don’t waste your money.

There’s no magic supplement or meal replacement. There’s eating adequate and appropriate amounts of mostly whole foods (with flexibility and perspective – your diet doesn’t need to be pristinely perfect in order to make amazing progress!). There’s being physically active regularly doing something you enjoy – the form that activity takes is FAR less important that simply doing it consistently. There’s getting adequate sleep to support recovery and health.

Your best tools for losing weight and getting healthy are your two feet, your shopping cart and your PILLOW!

Too bad her book isn’t free too, but hey, not everyone has the luxury of doing this all out of the goodness of their heart.

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I’m always looking for new blogs, especially as some of my regular reads are either going commercial or are going quiet because they are going commercial. So I’m happy to come across Go Maleo, a blog “written by a dude in the direct style of a dude.” The writer is also a physician who now thinks “about my health and the health of my patients in a new way in part because of the message of body acceptance and eliminating food vilification over at gokaleo.com.”

The first few posts are great reads … I hope he keeps it up! Be sure and check it out.

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Annoyed woman Yee gads. I mostly ignored this study about diet soda being equivalent to meth or crack as far as your teeth are concerned when it showed up in my Twitter feed. I’ve mentioned here before I have periodically had a diet soda “problem” and at the time thought, well, good thing I’ve been drinking my diet soda through a straw … figured that made a big difference.

Well. This whole study is based on a dentist’s three person case study. As in three. One more than two. Seriously?!

The diet soda drinker in the study drank “two liters of diet soda daily for three to five years.” Well she’s got a long way to go to catch up to my 3+ decades! Not sure all the confounds (sorry Yoni, I’m writing this post without reading the full study), but after looking at the pics (click thru to HuffPo to see them), I call total BS. I’m sure the dentist has “observed hundreds of similar soda-caused erosion cases” over his career. That’s why he used just one in his case study.

Sigh. I am certainly not defending diet soda or the beverage industry, but puh-leeze. There are plenty of reasons for cutting back or eliminating diet soda, but “meth mouth” isn’t one of ’em.

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Looks like the French are drinking less wine and some are concerned:

For many years people have been steadily abandoning what in our French sociology we referred to as the repas, or meal, by which I mean a convivial gathering around a table, and not the individualised, accelerated version we see today.

The traditional family meal is withering away. Instead we have a purely technical form of nourishment, whose aim is to make sure we fuel up as effectively and as quickly as possible.

When the French start showing increased rates of heart disease, I’m sure some will blame it on the decrease in dietary resveratrol. Me, I suspect it will have a lot to do with the decrease of social connection via the meal as “convivial gathering.”

HT Steve Parker for the link (via his blog).

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Via Stephan Guyenet comes a report of a study showing that following a strict vegan diet known as the Daniel fast for 21 days improves CV health markers.

The Daniel fast “prohibits the consumption of animal products, refined foods, white flour, preservatives, additives, sweeteners, flavorings, caffeine, and alcohol” and following the diet for 21 days “has been demonstrated to improve blood pressure, LDL-C, and certain markers of oxidative stress, but it has also been shown to lower HDL-C.”

The study seemed to be designed to test how krill oil supplementation affected health markers (it didn’t). But the study did show improvements in multiple CV health markers such as reductions in LDL-C, the LDL:HDL ratio, fasting blood glucose, fasting blood insulin, systolic BP, and body weight.

Moral of the story? To me, this study is reinforcement that it may well be less about what you eat (especially as far as macronutrient ratio or following a very strict paleo diet goes) and more about what you don’t, namely SAD foods.

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